Seth Godin -- a widely known blogger, speaker, and marketer -- often talks about price. He's a big believer in bringing quality to market and never being in a "race to the bottom" (i.e., winning market share just because you're willing to charge a penny less than the next guy rather than offering anything unique).
This doesn't just reference the selling price of retail goods, but also the value of people. For instance, taking a job just to have a job even if it pays poorly; or believing the value of a job is in its salary without considering its other conditions; or from the other perspective, hiring based on price alone.
In today's blog, he says that "Sort by price" (found on many retail websites) is lazy. That it's a lazy way to present products, and it's a lazy way to shop. As if the best value is the item with the best price. This would ignore how good a fit the product really is for your overall wants and needs, presuming you actually have a purpose for buying the product.
There's a time and place when all someone wants is to pay the best price. Maybe it's for bragging rights. Maybe it's because they just need a placeholder. A builder placing light bulbs in a home he'll never live in might be a good example. The eventual home owners can replace the low-quality "placeholder" bulbs with something that provides better, more lasting light if they wish to.
But we agree in spirit with Seth, which is why we consider quality before even carrying a lighting product. When you sort by price on Lighting Supply (our default sort), a "quality" sort is already built into that because we don't carry brands we don't trust. Which means you won't necessarily find the cheapest LED bulbs (for instance) on our site, because we don't want something that loses its brightness, changes color, buzzes, or otherwise provides you with a bad experience. Our goal is for you to find a great lighting value.
This still doesn't narrow things down to the best choice for you. For instance, in our video here, you can see that our lowest priced BR30 LED at the time of this post is $5.25 ... but you can choose a 2-pack of these exact lamps for $7.48, or $3.74 per bulb. You just have to look at a higher price to find these.
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Even then, maybe you're looking for a "warm glow" feature, which mimics the warm dimming effect of an incandescent. Well, you'd have to browse toward higher prices for this. Or maybe you simply need a different color temperature (how warm or cool the bulb appears).
This is why we have product refinements down the left side of our site (elsewhere on a mobile page) so you can find bulbs by the light output you're after, the look you're after, the voltage requirements you have, etc. As you refine your search, you can know that you'll have high-quality options ... sorted by price.
So yes ... 'sort by price' alone is a lazy way to shop. It's certainly one that can lead you into the land of buyer's remorse. But that doesn't mean you can't use it as a factor in your buying decision on your way to finding a great value in lighting, or in anything else you buy.
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